Kath & Kim and SNL Thursday Weekend Update: Comedy-Done-Right?

Matt Busekroos

On Oct. 9, NBC premiered its new sitcom “Kath & Kim” and a special edition of “Saturday Night Live” in primetime to mixed results.

“Kath & Kim” is directly adapted from the Oz version of the same name; however, NBC’s version does not quite match its predecessor in terms of quality. Molly Shannon (“Saturday Night Live”) stars as Kath Day, mother of Kim (played by a miscast Selma Blair), and their relationship is highly irregular in comparison to past mother-daughter relationships explored on television. Kim arrives home with luggage in tow following a collapse in her marriage to a man she just married, Craig (Mikey Day).

“I’m getting a divorce. It’s over. O-V-U-R!” Kim exclaims as she busts through the door.

“Kath & Kim” is not short on one liner’s; however, the comedy is inconsistent compared to NBC’s other Thursday night offerings, “The Office” and “30 Rock.”
Molly Shannon, who impressed in last year’s “Year of the Dog,” is fit to headline this sitcom; though it is unfortunate the writing and pacing of the show cannot match her comic delivery. Shannon excels with little and her raunchy relationship with her boyfriend Phil Knight (Michael Higgins Clark) is one spark that keeps this new show afloat. The chemistry between the two is apparent by the end of the episode when Phil proposes to Kath in the electronics store at the mall with Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” blaring over the sound system (a nod to “The Bodyguard,” which is one of Kath’s favorite films).

“Saturday Night Live” has benefited from the upcoming election and has just aired one of three specials in primetime following “The Office.” Tina Fey’s impeccable impression of Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, has restored interest in the late-night sketch comedy. In its fourth episode, hosted by Anne Hathaway, the show’s ratings increased 42 percent from the previous season’s fourth episode, according to MSNBC.

The first Thursday night special covered the second Presidential debate featuring special guests Chris Parnell as Tom Brokaw and Bill Murray as himself. The sketch emphasized the traits of the debate, including John McCain’s incessant use of calling the public, “my friends” and the overall frenetic structure, leaving the candidates little time to answer the questions at hand.

Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers carried the half hour with two segments of Weekend Update. The half hour special was decent; however, it is clear that Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin garners the most laughs (and interest) from the public from the three spots she has already participated in.

With “Kath & Kim” and “Saturday Night Live” in primetime having mildly disappointing debuts, the anticipation for the return of “30 Rock” on Oct. 30 has become much greater.